Second meeting of POSSE Open ITS Systems Forum

The meeting started off with the POSSE project coordinator, Simon Beasley from Polis member Reading Borough Council, outlining the main benefits and challenges of open specifications and standards in key areas, including public procurement, system flexibility and driving innovation. These have been identified through the POSSE users’ studies of city authorities and other authorities using UTMC or OCIT/OTS. The most important benefits are as follows: more efficient traffic operations, cost reductions, simplified and structured procurement, promoting innovation, better customer-supplier relationship.

The presentation was followed by a case study of the Norwegian process of implementing open specifications and standards. Norway is developing a common national reference model for ITS, called ARKTRANS, which POSSE partner , the NPRA, is supporting in terms of  harmonisation. The presenter described the ARKTRANS reference model and their plans to create a new roadside ITS station to manage various ITS applications.

The Forum’s meeting continued with two panel discussions, the first one focusing on more practical issues of direct relevance to cities, whereas the second one looked at the policy level. The goal of the first panel discussion was to identify how a transport authority can find its way among existing open specifications and standards and decide what is the best for its city, region or national roads. The panel also analysed the catalysts behind moving towards open specifications and standards. The most obvious and primary one was considered to be cost saving.

Among the speakers on the second panel was also a representative of DG MOVE, European Commission. This panel discussion provide an opportunity for POSSE to pass on its messages and explore the Commission’s reactions and vision for the future and the way open specifications and standards can contribute to them. Among the discussed policies were policies on open data, traffic coordination at the urban/interurban interface and cooperative systems. The city representatives expressed their views that the city agenda is different to the EC one as the cities do not support deployment of ITS unless they understand the benefits of it. The participants learnt that the Commission is planning to make a study to see where the gaps in standards are.

The next POSSE ITS Forum meeting will take place in 2014. For more information or to join the Forum, please visitthe POSSE website. The presentations made at the meeting can also be downloaded from the POSSE website.